Minister of Works and Infrastructure Jack Warner scored a multi-million dollar victory last week when he won a $28.1 million lawsuit filed against him by UNC financier Krishna Lalla. It was during the lead up to the May 20 general election, Lalla, trading as Real Time Systems Ltd, filed the lawsuit in the Port-of-Spain High Court claiming repayment of $13,351,095 for a loan given to Warner prior to the November 2007 general election. The lawsuit named the defendants as-Renraw Investments Ltd, CCAM and Company Ltd, and Warner, trading as the Dr Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence. Lalla contended that the money was loaned to Warner, who is also the UNC chairman during the period October 9 to November 1, 2007 at an interest rate of 12 per cent.
Warner was represented by William McCommick, QC, Om Lalla, and Dereck Balliram. Attorneys Neal Bisnath and Lydia Mendonca appeared for Lalla. The case never went to the full trial. Warner's legal team challenged the statement of case and preliminary submissions were made. Justice Devan Rampersad struck out the statement of case, and dismissed Lalla's application for summary judgment. Both parties are expected to make submissions to the court by December 9, following which Justice Rampersad will deliver his ruling on December 14.
Commenting on his victory yesterday, Warner said: "I knew for some time Mr Basdeo Panday and Mr Lalla would have been trying to implicate me in this for some time. I knew I would have been vindicated and I allowed justice to run its course. There are one or two other persons who are making a similar action but they would meet a similar fate." Warner, who said he was "humbled" by the development added: "I am a victim of numerous bloggers all of whom have reasons known to them and are wishing me evil but I fear no one as long as justice in this country runs its course."